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Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain : Shots - Health News

Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain : Shots - Health News
hide captionAlthough a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. iStockphoto.com Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words. This is a story about a duck. More precisely, it's a story about what your brain just did when you read the word "duck." Chances are, your brain created an image of a web-footed waterfowl. Just a few decades ago, many linguists thought the human brain had evolved a special module for language. But in the 1990s, scientists began testing the language-module theory using "functional" MRI technology that let them watch the brain respond to words. "They found something totally surprising," Bergen says. "A flying pig isn't something that actually exists in the real world," Bergen says.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/05/02/180036711/imagine-a-flying-pig-how-words-take-shape-in-the-brain

Related:  Vocabulary

10 Everyday Words With Unexpected Origins Books Etymology, or the study of the origin of words, is dry, dusty stuff that will give you allergies if you play with it too long. It also happens to be one of our favorite topics—because sometimes a word travels through such a twisted path to get to its modern meaning that all you can do is scratch your head and wonder how civilization manages to keep itself going. Read on to find out what word got its start with people biting the heads off chickens, how a peaceful word became an international symbol of hate, and how wooden shoes changed the world.

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more counter-intuitive ideas in cognitive science. In sharp contrast is dualism, a theory of mind famously put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century when he claimed that “there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible… the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” In the proceeding centuries, the notion of the disembodied mind flourished.

13 Wonderful Old English Words We Should Still Be Using Today As the years pass, language evolves. Since the days of Chaucer and Shakespeare, we can all agree English has become less flowery. Some fantastic vocabulary just dropped out of everyday conversation. Author Mark Forsyth writes about the words we’ve lost. The Mind is a Metaphor: As It Were As It Were · 2006-09-27 by Brad Pasanek Must we mean what we say? In the case of metaphor, meaning is underspecified, patently false, or—according to some theorists—somehow transmuted. Somehow changed.

10 Words That Don't Mean What You May Think They Do by Mark Nichol As English evolves, word meanings shift and turn, sometimes reversing themselves altogether. These ten words have shifted their senses over the years. In some cases, we are wise to likewise be flexible; in others, we relax our vocabulary at the expense of useful distinctions: 100 Mostly Small But Expressive Interjections David Bier Thanks for this – what a fun post considering there’s no actual narrative in it! Cecily Some of these interjections are quite culturally and age specific, so if people need to be told what they mean, they should probably not be using them.For example, to many Brits, va-va-voom is not old-fashioned at all, but instead is firmly linked to the long-running ads that footballer Thierry Henry made for the Renault Clio. Himanshu Chanda Whoa ! What a biiiig list. And yes this ones really great.

45 ways to avoid using the word 'very' Three Telling Quotes About ‘Very’ Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain‘Very’ is the most useless word in the English language and can always come out. More than useless, it is treacherous because it invariably weakens what it is intended to strengthen. ~Florence KingSo avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted.

100 Whimsical Words by Mark Nichol The English language can be maddening to native speakers and learners alike, but is also delightfully rich, especially for those who seek to convey a lighthearted tone in their writing. Here are 100 words it’s difficult to employ without smiling. Though their meanings may be obscure, they each present a challenge — I mean an opportunity — for you to paint a vivid word picture. Imbue your musings with mirth by incorporating these terms: 100 Words Every Expert Author Should Know Please note: Read this post first. We clarified our position. A Great Vocabulary Makes Compelling Reading! The EzineArticles Editors have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every Expert Author should know to be more concise, descriptive, and engaging. Show you’re a master of the English language by spicing up your writing with the following words and feel free to share this graphic. Simply click on the graphic below to view in a new window and then click the image or select Ctrl (on your keyboard) and then + or – to zoom in or out.

Eat. Live. Laugh. and sometimes shop!: 50 most beautiful English words. A few weeks ago I ran across a list, which I shared with you, of 33 Ways to Stay Creative. One suggestion was to read a page in the dictionary. That one stuck with me. It made me pause and think: When was the last time I even looked up a word in a real {not online} dictionary? A very long time ago is the answer to that query.

Idioms – as clear as mud? Miranda Steel is a freelance ELT lexicographer and editor. She has worked as a Senior Editor for dictionaries for learners at OUP and has also worked for COBUILD. In this post, she looks at some of the weird and wonderful idioms in the English language. If You've Never Used These English Idioms, You're Probably Not a Native Engli... Those of us who grew up with English as our first language have been exposed to idioms and idiomatic expressions for most of our lives. They may have confused us a little when we were children, but explanation and constant exposure not only increased our understanding of them, but likely drew them into our own vernacular. If you’re in the process of learning the English language, you may come across some of these and not be entirely sure what they mean. Here’s a list of 20 that you’re likely to come across fairly often: 1. A Chip on Your Shoulder

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